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Officers from East-Central Africa comfort church members who lost their relatives in a lightning strike in Rwanda

16 people were killed and more than 140 injured when lighting struck their church in Rwanda in March.

Officers from East-Central Africa comfort church members who lost their relatives in a lightning strike in Rwanda

[Photos courtesy of East-Central Africa Division]

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Blacious Ruguri, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in East Central Africa and Jerome Habimana, treasurer of the Adventist Church in the same territory, brought a message of condolences to those whose family members died in a lightning strike on March 10.

This traumatic event claimed the lives of 16 people in the Nyaruguru District in Southern Province, after lightening struck as more than 200 people worshiped in Nyarunazi Seventh-day Adventist Church in the District of Ruheru, South Rwanda Field.

Ruguri said the purpose of their visit to these families and church was  to make them feel that they are part of a larger family of Adventists.

“I decided to come here personally to just be with these people, pray with them, encourage them and comfort them so that the church members may really know that we are with them not just in their local setting here,” said Ruguri.  “They should know that they are part of the Adventist family around the division and the whole world.”

Pastor Ruguri also brought a message of condolences and a donation from Pastor Ted N. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church.  With this donation, the bereaved will be assisted and they will build a new church.

The affected people were impressed to see the church top leaders come to their region. Nsanzabarinda Venuste is 55 years old. He lost his wife and he was also struck by the lightning.  He says this act brings special hope in their hearts.

“We appreciate a lot the support from the church because we were never abandoned. Neither did the Government of Rwanda abandon us.”

The Vice Mayor of Nyaruguru District in charge of Social Affairs commended what Adventists have done so far to support the people affected by the tragedy.

“We thank the Seventh –day Adventist Church for their culture of kindness. They supported us the day the lightning struck and until now they have not let us down,” says the Vice Mayor.

She added that the Seventh-day Adventist Church helps the Government of Rwanda to cater for the needs of their members. “Their philosophy is not against the philosophy of the Government of Rwanda but they complement each other,” said the Vice Mayor.

This leader also said she was impressed to see the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church coming physically in a remote area to touch the lives of the church members. “Not everybody can do it except a good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep,” stressed the Vice Mayor. She concluded by requesting everyone to take care of their health by acquiring health insurances